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Wonderful food in places off Chowhound radar? Lynwood, for example.

Let's first set the parameters of this game.

1. Looking for true Chowhound gems in areas rarely discussed by most Chowhounds on the LA board.

(For the purposes of this game, let's disqualify the whole of Chinese San Gabriel Valley. Also any areas which are widely or moderately discussed such as central LA, Culver City or Santa Monica would be disqualified, but also less-discussed areas like Burbank or the West Valley, would be disqualified for purposes of this discussion. But Lynwood would be a great spot to identify a real find since it is rarely, if ever, discussed on the LA Chowhound board.)

2. In these off-the-Chowhound-radar locations, looking for restaurants largely unknown to Chowhounds.

(By this definition, although the city of Bell might be rarely discussed, La Casita Mexicana would not qualify since it has already been identified by the LA Chowhound community-at-large.)

3. Any restaurants identified or already reviewed by Jonathan Gold are immediately disqualified.

Alright fellow Chowhounds, I am eager to see what comes of this.

Mr Taster

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La Casita Mexicana
4030 Gage Ave, Bell, CA 90201

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  1. I've enjoyed La Huasteca in the Plaza at 3150 E Imperial Hwy (310) 537-8800. Rocio, the chef who used to be at Moles La Tia cooks there now. I've been a few times -- would go more often if it was closer to me.

    ETA: I guess this should be disqualified because I see some chowhounders have discussed this in the past...?

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    La Huasteca
    3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

    Moles La Tia
    4619 E Cesar E Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90022

    8 Replies
    1. re: d_doubleyew

      I'd say that any restaurant with a branch in Pasadena should be disqualified :)

      However, I appreciate your bringing La Huasteca to my attention. I'm woefully uninformed about Mexican food.

      Mr Taster

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      La Huasteca
      3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

      1. re: Mr Taster

        The La Huasteca in Pasadena is long gone.

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        La Huasteca
        3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

        1. re: Mr Taster

          La Huasteca must have been reviewd by Gold, no?

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          La Huasteca
          3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              And yet, he's reviewed Olive Garden.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  And that review made me laugh. It's just a shame they didn't make him carry that enormous culinary vibrator for an hour while he waited.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    The photos were a howl. The lovely shot of the spaghetti on the fork … that woman could make a bowl of Campbell's vegetable soup look fabulous.

        2. Not Lynwood, but in nearby Downy I really like Parilla's for Peruvian and Seafood & Taco's Raul for hole-in-the-wall Mexican.

          And in Huntington Park (not Hunginton Beach), I like La Flor De Izote Restaurant for Salvadoran.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Somehow, I knew you'd play.

            Thanks for these intriguing contributions.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              There are so many places I'd like to explore in Huntington Park, but there's that damn language barrier.

              Now I know what the rest of the non-Chinese speaking world feels like in SGV ...

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Long Beach

              El Pollo Imperial (Peruvian specialties, not just chicken)
              Thai Corner (Thai chicken salad and papaya salad)
              Riveras Mexican
              Alsace Lorraine Fine Pastries (almond star danish)

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              Thai Corner Restaurant
              2615 Carson St, Lakewood, CA 90712

              El Pollo Imperial
              5991 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805

              2 Replies
              1. re: mlgb

                In Long Beach, I really like Ma N Pa for burgers.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  wow, never heard of this place. ma n pa

              2. Is Redondo Beach disqualified? If not, we really enjoyed the food at Hudson House, which is more of a bar, than restaurant. Kind of loud & gritty, but with thoughtful and delicious food.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Phurstluv

                  While Redondo Beach might not be a bastion of Chowhoundliness, there's 13 pages worth of "Redondo" search results whereas Lynwood (for example) has just over 1 (this is using default search criteria). So I'd say that Redondo Beach wouldn't qualify.

                  Moving forward, let's try to keep the results to unknown, excellent restaurants found in areas which have less than 2 pages worth of search results using default criteria.

                  That should serve to hone the responses we get here to a rather sharp point.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Moving forward, let's try to keep the results to unknown, excellent restaurants found in areas which have less than 2 pages worth of search results using default criteria.

                    _____________________

                    You actually expect people to, um, do their due diligence before plunging right in?

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Think of my rules as serving the same purpose as Jim Leff's old manifesto :)

                      Really, the ultimate goal of this exercise is to help lift communities that are under served by great Chowhound info, so that Chowhounds-at-large have additional reasons to branch out and explore the many enclaves that make up our great city.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        IMHO, "Chowhounds at large" have largely abandoned Chowhound, for the convenient search and mapping tools to be found at Yelp, which also has a wider and deeper geographic & demographic participation. The handful of active LA chowhounds may feel they know better, but they aren't out there in the hood.

                        We'll see if anyone else plays.

                        1. re: mlgb

                          "… Yelp, which also has a wider and deeper geographic & demographic participation." A wider and deeper representation of narrower and shallower correspondents, is what it comes down to. There are still those of us who wouldn't take a Yelper's word for it that ice cream is nice (without documented proof), but who will explore whatever nook or cranny of LA County we find ourselves in for signs of worthwhile culinary effort being expended. I've gotten word of a newish place in Agua Dulce that ought to be looked into …

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            Chowhound.. BakeNBroil, BakeNBroil, BakeNBroil.

                            Without Yelp, explorations in Long Beach would be dull indeed.

                            There are some of us who will bravely subject our own tastebuds to a 4 or 5-star Yelp rated local restaurant without waitng for the chowhound self-annointed seal of approval.

                            I'm not even sure how these little undiscovered treasures manage to survive without the four or five of you who ever venture into the hood beyond the comforts of your exquisite pie and burger specials.

                            1. re: mlgb

                              "Without Yelp, explorations in Long Beach would be dull indeed." Explorations are never dull. Getting some poster's opinion before going anywhere is not "exploring" at all. Driving or walking somewhere and seeing an interesting place along the way, and checking it out, that's exploring. Or hanging out with a local, which is what we mostly do in Long Beach. Our friend there doesn't even know about BNB, but together we discovered a Tex-Mex place from the '40s, and that splendid dive the V-Room.

                              1. re: Will Owen

                                So which of the restaurants that I listed have you been to, or do you just rely on your one and only local friend?

                                If you've lived here for over 30 years as I have, you have been to all the tried and true places, including the two restaurants in LB ever mentioned on chowhound.

                                When something great and new opens, like El Pollo Imperial in north Long Beach, are you rejecting trying it just because Yelpers like it?

                                And what if your one friend doesn't ever go to North Long Beach? Which, if they've never heard of BnB, is my suspicion.

                                The V Room gets 4 stars on Yelp. Guess you better scratch that from your list. Oh first, what was the food item that you liked? And the name of the Tex Mex place? Woops.

                                -----
                                El Pollo Imperial
                                5991 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90805

                                1. re: mlgb

                                  Now now mlgb, no need for that sort of tone. The whole purpose of this thread is to address the issue of LA Chowhound's self-imposed limitations, and work to break them.

                                  I don't believe Mr Owen has ever said that a positive review on Yelp *automatically* presupposes a bad restaurant, which is what your straw man argument asserts.

                                  Rather, he is stating that a high Yelp ranking is not a reliable source of accurate information, whereas restaurants that meet with a broad Chowhound consensus generally are excellent. *Generally*. It's not a matter of absolutes, it's a matter of knowing where one can find the most valuable nuggets most reliably.

                                  That's always been the benefit of Chowhound since the beginning. As former Alphahound Jim Leff used to say, Chowhound provides a high signal to noise ratio. Yelp's signal:noise is substantially (if not exponentially) lower, and that is what makes Chowhound so valuable.

                                  Case in point:

                                  Urasawa gets slightly more than 4 stars

                                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/urasawa-bever...

                                  While this Chipotle gets 4

                                  http://www.yelp.com/biz/chipotle-mexi...
                                  (And you get wonderful gems like "Out of all the other Chipotles that I've been do, this one would probably my favorite.")

                                  Been do indeed.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    Comparing reviews of Urasawa to Chipotle is apples to oranges.

                                    Yelp has it's good points & bad. CH has it's good points & bad.

                                    -----
                                    Urasawa Restaurant
                                    218 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      Yes you are right reality check.

                                      I am still so anxiously awaiting another Chowhound recommendation for my neighborhood. Waiting. Waiting....along with the usual Chowhound comments about how unfortunately located it may be at "Crenshaw and Driveby". Oh wait, that was Eatalian in West Compton(on Yelp since February 2010 4 to 4.5).